Friday, December 12, 2008

The Lynch Mob

The insults have been flying quite freely between Spain's politicians in the last couple of weeks. First we had a storm kicked up by Getafe's mayor Pedro Castro who asked why there were still so many "tontos de los cojones" prepared to vote for the right. Then we got Joan Tardá of Esquerra Republicana who yelled "Viva la república, muerte al Borbón" in a meeting that was definitely not commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Spanish constitution. Both statements provoked loud protests from the Partido Popular and their media friends. Santa Esperanza de Mumbai is leading a boycott against Castro, who presides the federation of local municipalities. Others clamoured for Tardá to be taken to court for wishing death on the monarchy. Castro's choice of words may have been unwise, but to be fair at least there was an attempt at sociological investigation behind the statement. Particularly if you take into account the way the right operates in Madrid. Meanwhile Tardá's statement has been excused as a historical reference - he was talking about Felipe V, not about the current incumbent. The PP's indignation at what he said wasn't enough to stop them adding their support to an ERC sponsored motion rejecting the government's budget a few days ago.

Now let's look at the other side of the coin. Yesterday the PP's honorary president, Manuel Fraga, was quoted as saying that what the regional nationalists needed was to be hung somewhere. Pretty sweet isn't it? Don Manuel has actually softened in his political positions a bit over the years, after all he was a prominent member of a regime that preferred either the garotte or simply shooting its opponents and leaving them in shallow graves by the roadside. So credit where credit's due. At this rate of progress he should emerge in the centre right of the political spectrum shortly before his 150th birthday, an event which cannot be completely ruled out given his apparent resilience. No protests from the PP over that moderate statement, just as there are no protests when Carlos Fabra calls his opponents "hijos de puta" or threatens to piss on the headquarters of Izquierda Unida if he has another of his seemingly very frequent wins on the lottery. Even Santa Espe could be questioned over her description of those criticising her quick exit from Mumbai as "bellacos y miserables". That's not nice at all, coming from such a holy person.

No comments: